Review: Kapotte Muziek “Praag/Rotterdam” CD

This disc contains two lengthy live sets from this Dutch project, performing under the lineup of Roel Meelkop, Peter Duimelinks, and Frans de Waard in both instances. First up is the 45-minute "Alternativa 95", recorded in Prague (Czech Republic) on December 14, 1995. A rather subtle piece, it takes around 10 minutes to build into a fuller volume level with its sparse little blips and low-end hums, not to mention some other machinated types of noises and faint samples that are all relatively quiet and restrained. Random shuffling sounds and foreground textures pass across the piece intermittently, so it's all rather abstract and obscure. Past the midway point things take more of a flowing dark ambient sort of direction, but everything retains that unexpectedly sparse sensibility, and I can't help but wonder if a bit of the full presence of the live performance is being lost on the recording? Either way, despite being rather restrained, this is an enjoyable set that flows well. I actually think it might have been somewhat boring in person, whereas it works quite well in a less performance oriented setting such as in headphones or as background music. The shorter "I Rip You, You Rip Me" follows, having been recorded in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) on June 12, 1998. A similarly sparse 27-minute set, this one does build in more quickly with some glitchy wisps of distortion and rather hellishly piercing high-end feedback that honestly feels way too overpowering for me. Even in its minimalism this tone is incredibly irritating until it finally retreats to the distance and shifts back and forth into a lower sizzle. So, yeah, this is definitely a louder and more aggressive set in some ways - though make no mistake, the delivery is still very spacious and rather stripped down: This is not harsh noise or anything like that, they're simply using distorted sounds and textures to work with. There are some subdued ambient moments as well, however, making this piece perhaps more diverse than "Alternativa 95", though I actually prefer the opener's persistence and overall flow. Again the disc is housed in a matte black and white slipcase with just a little bit of text and artwork fitting of the minimalist approach to the music that the CD contains. Not the finest work I've heard from Frans de Waard and company, but an enjoyable document of the two performances nonetheless.

Running time - 71:54, Tracks: 2
[Notable tracks: both are fairly good]
PACrec -